Rooty Hill High School students build throwback arcade game console

Teacher Lindsay Price, year 11 student Lara Ferri and year 9 students Thomas Morris and Zane Cartlett with the finished product. Picture: Heath Parkes-Hupton
Teacher Lindsay Price, year 11 student Lara Ferri and year 9 students Thomas Morris and Zane Cartlett with the finished product. Picture: Heath Parkes-Hupton

Many teenagers have spent hours at home playing classic games like Mario Kart, Donkey Kong and Banjo Kazooie.

But the students at Rooty Hill High School have a good excuse to play during school hours.

After more than six months of hard work and sleepless nights, the school’s robotics team have finished work on an old fashioned arcade-style emulator.

“We wanted to know what it was like to play games in the old school days,” year 9 student Zane Catlett said.

“It took us a while to build. There were lots of late nights trying to think of ways to fix things.”

Maths teacher Lindsay Price said the idea was born in early 2016, but it took a while for students and teachers to get their heads around the project.

“We definitely bit off more than we could chew, but we learnt on the fly,” Mr Price said.

The students made the console out of wood and bought buttons online. They then installed a retro pie chip holding Nintendo 64, Sega Megadrive and Super-Nintendo games.

Problems with getting the software involved right set the group back, Mr Price said, but they didn’t give up.

“The school saw that it crossed over all of the STEM areas, so they put some funding in to push the students to keep going,” he said.

“In the end we stuck to the school motto – to persist.”

Students can play games every Friday lunch time. Picture: Heath Parkes-Hupton

Students can play games every Friday lunch time. Picture: Heath Parkes-Hupton

The finished product was been set up in the school library last week, where students can play during Friday lunch time.

Mr Price said it has helped form new bonds between students.

“It’s open to anyone, we didn’t want to make it a club that’s cliquey,” he said.

“We’ve had people come out of the woodwork to play.”